Apple pie with lattice upper
Tarte Tatin, a French variation
on apple pie
An apple pie
is a fruit pie
tart) in which the principal filling ingredient is apples
. It is sometimes served with whipped cream
on top. Pastry is generally used
top-and-bottom, making a double-crust
upper crust of which may be a disk shaped crust or a pastry lattice
woven of strips; exceptions are deep-dish apple pie with a top
crust only, and open-face Tarte
, colloquially cookers
), such as the Bramley
, are crisp and acidic. The fruit for the pie can be
fresh, canned, or reconstituted from dried
. This affects the final texture, and the length of
cooking time required; whether it has an effect on the flavour of
the pie is a matter of opinion. Dried or preserved apples were
originally substituted only at times when fresh fruit
The English pudding
"For to Make Tartys in Applis", 18th century print of a 14th
English apple pie recipes go back to the time of Chaucer
. The 1381 recipe (see illustration at right)
lists the ingredients as good apples, good
spices, figs, raisins and pears.
of the recipe is a casing of pastry. Saffron
is used for colouring the pie filling.
In English speaking countries, apple pie is a dessert of enduring
popularity, eaten hot or cold, on its own or with ice cream
, double cream
Absence of sugar in early English recipe
Most modern recipes for apple pie require an ounce or two of
, but the earliest recipe does not. There
are two possible reasons.
Sugarcane imported from Egypt was not
widely available in 14th century England, where it
cost between one and two shillings per
pound — this is roughly the equivalent
of US$100 per kg (about US$50 per pound) in today's
The absence of sugar in the recipe may instead indicate that,
because refined sugar was a recent introduction from the Orient,
the medieval English did not have quite as sweet a tooth as their
descendants. Honey, which was many times cheaper, is also absent
from the recipe, and the "good spices" and saffron, all imported,
were no less expensive and difficult to obtain than refined sugar.
Despite the expense, refined sugar did appear much more often in
published recipes of the time than honey, suggesting that it was
not considered prohibitively expensive. With the exception of
apples and pears, all the ingredients in the filling probably had
to be imported. And perhaps, as in some modern "sugar-free"
recipes, the juice of the pears was intended to sweeten the
A home-baked Dutch apple pie
apple pie (appeltaart
) recipes are distinct in that they typically
call for flavourings such as cinnamon
to be added. Dutch apple
pies are usually decorated in a lattice style. Dutch apple pies may
include ingredients such as raisins and icing, in addition to
ingredients such as apples and sugar, which they have in common
with other recipes.
Recipes for Dutch apple pie go back centuries. There exists a
painting from the Dutch Golden Age
dated 1626, featuring such a pie. Though it originated in The
Netherlands, it is now a delicacy served around the world.
The basis of Dutch apple pie is a crust on the bottom and around
the edges. This is then filled with pieces or slices of apple
, usually a crisp and mildly tart variety such as
are generally mixed in with the apple filling.
The filling can be sprinkled with liqueur
for taste although this is very uncommon. Atop the filling, strands
cover the pie
, holding the filling in
place but keeping it visible. Though it can be eaten cold, warmed
is more common, with a dash of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Netherlands it is
usually eaten cold with whipped cream.
traditional and popular in the Amish
communities of Canada and the United States, uses a topping of
mixed cinnamon, brown sugar, melted butter and table cream or milk
which turns into a thick syrup during baking that percolates down
to the crust. In the Amish version, liqueur is never used.
Apple pie in American culture
English colonies the apple pie had to wait for carefully planted
pips, brought in barrels across the Atlantic, to become
fruit-bearing apple trees, to be selected for their cooking
qualities, as apples do not come true from seeds.
meantime, the colonists
likely to make their pies, or "pasties", of meat rather than of
fruit; and the main use for apples, once they were available, was
. But there are American apple-pie
recipes, both manuscript and printed, from the eighteenth century,
and it has since become a very popular dessert.
A mock apple pie
made from cracker
was apparently invented by pioneers
on the move during the nineteenth century
who were bereft of apples. In the 1930s, and for many years
afterwards, Ritz Crackers
recipe for mock apple pie using its product, along with sugar and
Although apple pies have been eaten since long before the discovery
of America, "as American as apple pie" is a saying in the United
States, meaning "typically American". The dish was also
commemorated in the phrase "for Mom and apple pie" - supposedly the
stock answer of American soldiers in WWII, whenever journalists
asked why they were going to war .
Advertisers exploited the patriotic connection in the 1970s with
the TV jingle "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet".There
are claims that the Apple Marketing Board of New York State used
such slogans as "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" and "as
American as apple pie!", and thus "was able to successfully
'rehabilitate' the apple as a popular comestible" in the early
twentieth century when prohibition
outlawed the production of cider
unincorporated community of Pie Town, New Mexico is named in honor of the apple pie.
Sugar is Made - the History, Sugar Knowledge International
- Definition of "be as American as apple pie",
Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms